Like Those Who Dream: Chapter
7, Picking Up Candy Wrappers
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow
Picking Up Candy Wrappers
When God takes us to new heights, He is also preparing us to walk through new depths. Someone has said, “We find the evergreen trees on the mountains, but the fruit trees are found in the valleys.” When we read books of the Bible like Colossians, we find that God begins by taking us to the heights in Christ—we even discover that we are seated with Him in heavenly places. Later on in the book, God brings us down to earth and tells us how our heavenly place with Him impacts our earthly relationships. It is impossible to walk with God and not be concerned about our walk before others. It has been said, “People who are too heavenly minded are of no earthly good.” The Scriptures tell us just the opposite—we must first be heavenly minded if we are to be of any real earthly good.
One valuable lesson I was to learn from God after my “mountaintop experience” of ceaseless joy, was how practical His work would become in my everyday life…
On one beautiful spring afternoon, after finishing a tasty lunch in the school dining hall, I went to the campus store to pick up a snack. Once inside, I walked to the candy section located near the cash register. My eye quickly passed over the selection; it didn’t take me long to locate my favorite, a Three Musketeers. I grabbed it from the top of the open box, put it on the counter and dug into my pocket for the necessary change. I planned on eating it immediately and turned down the clerk’s offer to put it in a bag.
Leaving the store, I decided to take a walk in the crisp cool air. My heart was light as I began my walk down the sidewalk that led past the girl’s dorm to the open fields bordering the campus. As I neared the girl’s dorm, I removed the wrapper from my Three Musketeers candy bar and took a bite; without giving it a second thought, I threw the candy wrapper on the ground and kept walking.
At that moment I heard the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to my heart, “Pick up the wrapper and put it in the trash.” I immediately rejected the idea and kept walking. Once again, I heard His still small voice, “Pick up the wrapper and put it in the trash.” This time I reasoned that it wasn’t important enough to go back and pick up the candy wrapper.
“I could care less about a candy wrapper,” I responded.
His voice spoke again, “You could care less, but I care.”
I decided to obey. I turned around, walked back to the candy wrapper, picked it up and put it in the trash can located near by.
It was my first major lesson in what I call “the school of the Holy Spirit”…a school from which we never graduate. The Holy Spirit is the perfect Teacher. He is patient, He doesn’t rush through things, He stays with our lessons until we learn them, and He never allows us to cut corners or skip over anything that is a part of His work in conforming us to the image of Christ.
The lesson of the “candy wrapper” was the beginning of a two-year training program the Holy Spirit used to build my character. That training included lessons on keeping my room clean, picking up my clothes and hanging them in the closet, and being on time for appointments. I was amazed to discover that God cared about so many “little things” in my life. In time, I came to realize that each lesson learned was a practical way of expressing love to other people. It is a loving thing not to have others pick up after my mess; it is a loving thing to honor the time of others; it is a loving thing to take care of someone else’s property and treat it as if it were my own. The Kingdom of God is a Kingdom of love and a Kingdom of right relationships. When He is having His way in us, we will be an extension of His love to others.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude…1 Corinthians 13:4-5 NLB
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God [do not offend or vex or sadden Him], And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), Ephesians 4:30,32 AMP
(Join us next week as we continue this journey of Roy's memoir, Like Those Who Dream. The book is available through DaySpring and Christian retailers everywhere.)
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